The full potential of automated B2B email marketing
B2B marketers are faced with a multitude of daily responsibilities, and often, as a result, neglect core elements of business development. Hectic schedules make it common for companies to approach email marketing on an arbitrary basis, randomly reaching out to prospects and hoping that what they offer is appealing. Lacking an efficient, timely plan, this email marketing method runs the chance of frustrating subscribers and losing the chance to convert interest into sales. Automated B2B email marketing can alleviate this pressure felt by B2B marketers, improving time management and the focus to remain on track with their marketing campaigns.
What’s an email workflow?
An email workflow is an automated, pre-written flow of emails triggered to be sent based on a prospects behaviour, for example when a person carries out a specific action on your website or meets some pre-set criteria.
An optimised email marketing workflow might look something like this:
- A potential customer searches for a product or service relevant to your business on Google, leading them to one of your website pages.
- She visits a few product/ service pages and blog posts on your site, which entices her to click the call to action to download your ‘Product Tip Sheet’.
- The Call-To-Action (CTA) leads her to a form, requiring information such as name, company, job role and email address to receive the tip sheet.
- Once the info is submitted, the user will instantly receive an automated, pre-written email containing the product tip sheet, along with a thank you message and a link to another blog you think may interest her.
- 3 days later, she receives another email with a link to a case study of work you’ve carried out for a similar client.
- A week later, she receives her third pre-written email offering to set up a free consultation with one of your sales team. She replies and sets up a meeting for the following week.
- This same process is repeated for all users who click to download the ‘Product Tip Sheet’, ensuring no prospect is neglected.
Now, put yourself in the following scenarios.
- You receive an email from a company you have had zero engagement with. The email is impersonal, has little significance to you and doesn’t hold any purpose in relation to previous interactions you’ve had.
- Now visualise a personalised email you receive from a company you’ve recently interacted with, perhaps you read a blog and downloaded an eBook on their website. The email includes a thank you note and recommends some similar resources.
There’s no question which email will entice you to take further action.
Still need convincing?
Here are some of the key benefits of adopting email automation for your B2B company:
Creating time to manage the various aspects of sales and marketing for a B2B company is no easy feat. The manual tasks of traditional email marketing can be extremely time consuming, with leads moving through the sales cycle at different paces and each one requiring adequate nurturing before they are ready to make a purchase. Moreover, as your business grows and the number of leads increase, efficient management becomes tricky, with prospects often slipping under the radar. Marketing automation software alleviates the time needed for email distribution. When an email workflow is set up, B2B marketers can better manage their time to monitor, respond and nurture prospects successfully.
Send emails specific to your buyer’s journey
Many companies go down the route of sending one or two generic emails per month to their entire, un-segmented contact database. Although it’s possible to monitor the delivery, open rates and click through rate of these emails, the results don’t correlate to your B2B lead generation efforts. Automated emails however, are designed to mirror a prospects interaction with your company and the various stages of their buying journey.
Workflows enable email automation, where marketers can set actions to be completed based on specific enrolment criteria being met, for example filling out a form or clicking on a CTA. When entered the workflow, prospects will receive specific emails suitable to their level of interaction with your company. For instance, when a prospect responds to an email and requests a free demo, there’s a good chance they would appreciate an email offering a free consultation with one of your team. However, a recipient who hasn’t reacted to this email will probably require further nurturing before they are ready to move further down the funnel.
Benefits sales team
Your sales team will gladly welcome the idea of automated email and the insights that email workflows will offer. Metrics such as email engagement, educate the sales team on individual prospects and at what stage in the buyers journey they are. Rather than approach a prospect too soon and damage the possibility of a potential buyer, sales can access data on a prospects level of engagement to date to determine if they are ready for a sales call or consultation. For example, a prospect requesting a free product demo would suggest they are near the bottom of a funnel and ready to be approached by sales.
Note: Some email automation tools feature the ability to automatically email a reminder to members of sales when a prospect is ready to be contacted.
Email workflows are the key to successfully nurturing leads. While some companies opt to approach new leads hastily while the connection is still warm, this isn’t always the best approach. Just because a lead has read your blog and downloaded a free eBook doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to make a purchase.
An automated workflow further develops your relationships with leads, providing them with relevant information and resources, all the while presenting yourself as an industry expert and trustworthy choice to do business with. Leads will tend to be more responsive to sales if they have received valuable emails prior to a sales ‘reach out’.
The most successful B2B companies today have implemented automated email marketing to their marketing strategy. By sending personal emails, specific to a prospects buyers journey, you can better engage with subscribers at the perfect moment. Automation, unlike people, will never forget to email prospects, whether it’s a follow up thank you message or offering a sales ready lead the opportunity to have a consultation. Triggered emails will leave no prospect unattended, increasing conversions and overall revenue by reaching out to prospects when your company is fresh in their mind.